Former El Paso County deputy pleads guilty in Ponzi scheme
Investors lost $215,000
Last Updated: 66 days ago
DENVER - A former El Paso County deputy sheriff has pleaded guilty to fraud and money laundering as part of a Ponzi scheme that victimized fellow law enforcement officers and friends.
David N. Hawkins, 43, of Colorado Springs, is scheduled to be sentenced on June 7.
Prosecutors said Hawkins attended training courses on trading foreign currencies in foreign exchange markets. He then collected $1.2 million from 73 of his co-workers, other law enforcement officers, friends and relatives to be used in trading foreign exchange funds.
Prosecutors said losses to investors were estimated at $215,643.
Investigators said that Hawkins removed investor funds from FOREX trading accounts into bank accounts he controlled, using the funds for personal expenses or to pay investors who withdrew their personal investments.
Some of the money withdrawn was used to purchase personal automobiles to purchase franchises in two semi-professional indoor arena football teams that never became operational.
"Ponzi schemes have taken the hard earned money of all too many Americans in the last few years," said U.S. Attorney John Walsh in a written statement. "In this case, a Deputy Sheriff took money meant for investment, and spent it on a variety of things, including personal items, giving no thought to the financial damage he is causing the colleagues, family and friends who trusted him. He will now face the consequences of his crimes."
Hawkins faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000. He also faces one count of money laundering which carries a penalty of up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
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